By Medicine Hat News on March 28, 2018.
An important first step for many who dream of taking the journey towards self-employment is the Community Futures Entre-Corp self-employment training program. Funded by Alberta Labour, this program has been delivered in Medicine Hat collectively for 21 years.
The self-employment training program is an outstanding free resource for entrepreneurs in our region who wish to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to start and run a successful business.
The basic criteria to enter the training program is that the candidate is currently unemployed or under-employed. They must have a viable business idea, the personal abilities and a proven business concept that would be suitable in today’s economic times. They should also have the ability to access the required capital necessary to start and run the business, as well as the capacity to commit to the training program requirements.
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions.
Can I still earn an income while taking this program?
Yes. If you meet the eligibility requirements for program entry, you could be eligible to receive a learners benefit which is intended to provide you with an income while you are learning. These funds should not used to finance your business start-up costs.
How long is the training program?
The self-employment training program is a one-year commitment that will provide training and mentorship on how to start and run a business. It begins with seven weeks of classroom-led business training. Classes run Monday to Thursdays, from 8:45 a.m.-4 p.m. During the course of the year, students will receive regular mentoring support and ongoing follow-up reviews.
Why should I take seven weeks out of my schedule to complete this program, rather than start-up my business right away?
Business owners who have completed the training repeatedly tell us how valuable the seven-week program was for them. Recent program participant Darlene Jenkins, owner of Just Be True Colors, shared her personal experience: “I was so glad that I participated in the seven-week Community Futures Entre-Corp Self Employment course. I received professional training from a variety of industry leaders and learned everything I needed to know to start and run my business.”
Studies conducted by Community Futures across Canada with past clients has demonstrated that entrepreneurs who entered the program and completed it, have stayed in business longer and have had greater success in the long run.
What will I learn?
The topics covered include: GST/payroll, bookkeeping, income tax matters, understanding sole proprietorship/partnerships/corporations, pricing, cash flow budgeting, operations, market research, social media marketing, business planning, HR management, and sales training. Several guest speakers are invited in to discuss insurance, banking, OHS/WCB, legal matters, graphic design, branding/website design, self-care practices, strategic planning as well as a list of guest panel speakers who are also business owners and have a wealth of experience to share. By the end of the seven-week classroom portion of the program, students will be ready to complete and submit their business plan.
Community Futures Entre-Corp is currently accepting applications for the May 7 start date. Applications will not be considered after April 27 so if you are interested in this training program, you are urged to contact Community Futures at 403-528-2824 as soon as possible.
Elizabeth Blair is the regional innovation network coordinator for APEX Alberta. APEX Alberta supports the growth of innovative and technologically-oriented businesses in Southeast Alberta. APEX Alberta is a collaborative initiative between three core service providers: Community Futures Entre-Corp, Medicine Hat College and Alberta Innovates.
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